Quality #6: T-shaped
After a holiday hiatus, we are back to continue our discussion of the Top 10 Qualities of Leading Technology Transfer Professionals
Thank God for PBS, for the survival of Big Bird, and especially for Cookie Monster! I imagine that this blue guy has taught at least a trillion children their ABCs by methodically moving through each letter and its association to household items. In this spirit, the letter of the day and this post is “T”.
As you might have guessed, “T” is for “Tech Transfer”; but, in my line of work it also stands for something else—“T-Shaped”. A T-Shaped Tech Transfer professional is an alliterative description of the type of person I seek and place. They are uniquely qualified to handle the rigors and challenges of the tech transfer profession.
Let’s take a look at the make-up of a “T-Shaped” professional:
( | ) The vertical post in the “T” could be best described as Gladwell’s 10,000-hour expert status—a focused, dedicated pursuit of excellence in a particular area or skill. This assures that the tech transfer professional will have:
- Experience: In the tech transfer profession, this means deep education and knowledge in relevant areas, such as law, scientific area, or business (corporate, entrepreneurial). This includes extensive understanding of associated systems and processes
- Passion: In the journey of excellence, the professional must exhibit an intense interest in the particular skill set. Yes, this is important to the professional to assure continued development; but, it is arguably as important as a contribution to the tech transfer team
- Credibility: Ability to “talk shop” with faculty, or potential business partners is fundamental to creating the types of relationships required in moving technology to the marketplace. Many tech transfer shops have divided functions to insure that they have deep credibility in both faculty, start-up, and corporate interactions
(—) While deep understanding is crucial to technology transfer professionals, the horizontal post symbolizes a professional that is able to function in an environment and a practice that is robust and rapidly changing. This perspective confirms that the leading tech transfer professional is:
- Observant: It’s easy to stick to what you know. In tech transfer, the professional must be capable and interested in looking beyond the scope of their expertise
- Collaborative: Within the office, on campus, and in relationships with external stakeholders, partners, and customers. The leading tech transfer professional understands that creating these connections is imperative to a successful operation
- Adaptive: Conditions and capabilities change in the world of technology transfer and a leading tech transfer professional doesn’t have the luxury to get stuck in their own world. Adapt or die
Are you a “T” shaped professional? We want to hear from you! What are some of the other characteristics that make up a “T-shaped” technology transfer professional?
Quality #7: Creative